SSG, which built a dynasty by advancing to the Korean Series for six consecutive years from 2007 to 2012, did not suffer the ups and downs of falling to the bottom. There were seasons where I couldn’t make it to the postseason, but I still competed in the top 5 until the very end.
So the fall to ninth place in 2020 was a big shock for the club. There was a point where it was almost overturned by Hanwha in 10th place, and the performance plummeted so badly. It relied on veteran players without properly building power, and various bad news such as injuries came at once and collapsed like a sand castle. The pain was so great that the club’s leadership was replaced all at once.
Such SSG set a goal of ‘reconstruction within two years’ ahead of 2021. Looking inside, the power they had was not that weak. There were still veterans who could hold the center of the team. The idea was to create a team that could challenge the Korean Series within two years by spurring short-term reconstruction rather than rebuilding. Long-term plans of 3 years or more are considered unsuitable for the team because there are many variables that can be overturned in the middle anyway.
It was NC that SSG used as a model. NC also tasted the shock of falling to the bottom in 2018, when the problems of the team, which had been consistently at the top since its foundation, erupted all at once. However, it started to rise again with the reinforcement of power represented by Yang Eui-ji, the rebound of existing players, and the appropriate young player Gami. NC, who finished 5th in 2019, reached the top of the Korean Series in 2020. SSG paid attention to such NC, and achieved a combined victory in 2022 by walking an almost similar path.
Then, is there a team that can succeed NC and SSG? Looking at the path taken, KIA can be a strong candidate. KIA also went through a difficult time, falling to 9th place in 2021, and like SSG, there was an incident in which all the heads were eventually replaced. Since then, there is something similar to NC-SSG in that it has reinforced its power by spending a lot of money, such as the recruitment of Na Seong-beom and the U-turn of Yang Hyeon-jong.
Of course, it did not reach 100% of the fans’ level, but it still achieved its biggest goal of returning to the postseason by ranking 5th last year. Although there was a power leak in this offseason, the team is aiming for better results than last year with the number of foreign pitcher replacement matches and trade matches. Assuming that this goal succeeds, if there is another hot recruitment game after this season, KIA’s challenge for the presidency will be possible and the possibility of short-term reconstruction will increase.
Lotte is the candidate to follow suit. Lotte raised great expectations with the appointment of general manager Seong Min-gyu and the appointment of manager Larry Sutton, but all of their results over the last three years have been eliminated from the postseason. My grades should improve gradually, but my win rate has gone downhill over the past three years. It symbolizes that Lotte failed to move as planned. 메이저놀이터
However, he left the salary cap empty and waited for this free agency market, and he bet on the game by adding Yoo Kang-nam and Noh Jin-hyuk to the center line, which was the team’s biggest problem. It is a team that is not lacking compared to other teams and should not be lacking in the prospects collected while falling in the lower ranks. Lotte is now in a position to be criticized if it does not make it to the top 5 as a team that needs to produce tangible results, not rebuilding.
If Lotte returns to the postseason this year, it will gain momentum and start a short-term reconstruction. If so, it may be one potential team that can directly follow NC-SSG. This is why Lotte’s 2023 is so important.
However, considering the power of the existing top teams, it is not easy for the two teams to achieve their goals at the same time. Last year’s winning team, SSG, LG, which is still in the winning cycle, and kt, which boasts a solid mound, are selected as the ‘final 3’ only with a difference in order. Kiwoom, which has reinforced its strength while showing off its potential, and Doosan, which is aiming for an emergency by reinforcing good will, are also not easy. Attention is focusing on who will be the next protagonist of the short-term reconstruction.